Preview: “Out of the Abyss” Adventure for D&D


The Underdark is a popular setting for your D&D sessions to take place. It’s a perfect place for exploration and battles, delving deeper and deeper into the forgotten depths. Any number of classic D&D monsters make their home there (because honestly, something like a Grell wandering around in broad daylight would highlight just how ridiculous it is.) Plus various classic D&D antagonists run their empires out of the Underdark, putting massive threats just under the surface of the civilized world. Toss in the occasional Dwarven expedition that Digs Too Deep, and you have plenty of adventures.

And speaking of digging too deep, the next big campaign for D&D 5e is Out of the Abyss, and it involves unleashing every demon ever into its midst. That sounds like a bad thing.

DnD_OotAToday we have a preview page from Out of the Abyss, detailing some possibilities when wandering the Underdark. The party might establish their own outposts during their adventures, or they might encounter those most unpronounceable of bad guys, the svirfneblin (deep gnomes) under the influence of the demon lord Juiblex and something called the Pudding King. Also Zuggtmoy’s wedding? It looks like not only are there plenty of threats to deal with, also some sweet fungus demon love.

Out of the Abyss is available September 4th from select local game stores and in general release September 15th.

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.


  1. Svirfneblin ain’t bad guys – they tend to be neutral. (Looking forward to the adventure – looks like a good time!)

    • Those under the influence of Jubilex might be a little different to your standard deep gnome though

      • Of course. But the implication was that they are both generally bad guys and under his influence. But no judgement – most creatures with weird names in D&D are bad guys, and I’m honestly surprised that I remembered that they’re not.

      • I stand by my assessment of deep gnomes as bad guys and jerks, and if you disagree, you must have had a nicer DM than mine.

      • Haha, fair enough. I mostly remember them from one of the Salvatore books back in the day. They seemed a lot nicer than the Underdark elves and dwarves, at least.

  2. *Juiblex
    (not Jubilex)(easy transposition/mix-up)

  3. A preview page in pdf…so WotC DOES know what a pdf file is…

    • Ed Gibbs, that IS a PDF. You can download it and when you do so it is a PDF when saved. Right now it is a PDF opening in the Web browser. So not sure what you are implying otherwise.

      • He was taking a jab at Wizards for not releasing the core books as PDFs. Although it does fall a bit flat, given the free basic rules, unearthed arcana and so on have all been in that format.

  4. You’ve been lied to about Drizzt Do’Urden being a part of the Out of the Abyss campaign. I just double-checked at the D&D sites, thinking maybe I misread. I did not. The Rage of Demons publication line, computer-games to RPG, were ALL supposed to feature Drizzt Do’Urden. Out of the Abyss is the RPG campaign for that line and was advertised to have him. But our local gaming store actually got the campaign early (release date 9-15-15) and we have been able to purchase them.

    IT IS A LIE!!!!!! Drizzt Do’Urden is nowhere in the campaign setting of Out of the Abyss. There isn’t even a hint of him. The closest you get is a single interview with Bruenor (who doesn’t even mention his good friend, btw). The adventure starts you off as prisoners of the drow. Upon your escape you can line up with an NPC to do some sidequests that don’t really have anything to do with anything until you’re sent back into Menzoberranzan on a sidenote by Bruenor. After that you line up with an evil drow (who is previously unheard of) to complete the storyline. I’m so angry. I waited months for this campaign to come out, believing that at least in some way, shape or form our characters would work with Drizzt Do’Urden. I made a character especially for this campaign. I’m pissed and I’m returning the product. I’m willing to bet the video game and computer game are the exact same way.

    Don’t waste your money on this product. The company (TSR, WotC, Hasbro, whatever they are calling themselves these days) have lied to you.

    • What’s your point?

      I don’t care about Drizzt. He’s only important in novels, and even then, he’s more of an oddity than a major player.

      For people like me, Drizzt’s presence (or absence) is a non-factor in whether or not to buy Out of the Abyss.

      • Whether I want a “bromance” so bad (btw, bad call. Never assume!), once you check out the advertising, the sales were clearly based on the character’s presence. In fact, if you look at the 5th edition revamp, “Year of the Drow”, the push for the new Drizzt-based books by Salvatore, etc……the entire thing has pretty much depended upon the character. He is the central theme WotC is using to try to make themselves a marketable game once again. With that in mind, the complete absence is false advertising and a ploy. The entire platform relies upon it. False advertising, or even ploys to make it seem like it while legally keeping your butt out of the fire, are a pet peeve of mine. I abhor when corporations depend on duping their customers to create sales.

        And if you aren’t interested in Drizzt, good for you, but for those of us who the only reason we were giving this new stream of a rehashed over-played game was for a character who once was a great character and was truly hoping the revamp would give new life for him, it is an extreme disappointment and just one more example of this company’s inability to deliver good on their over-extended promises.

        To whit, those npc’s I mentioned at the beginning of the campaign….it’s an unnecessary inundation of them. There are 10 as fellow prisoners, all with little things for you to chase. While a few npc’s being introduced to get the game going makes sense, you can waste entire play sessions just attempting to introduce a bunch of random characters that don’t have a significant impact on the story-line. Further, unless you’re playing an evil-aligned group (which the campaign does not assume or even make allowances for), the entire campaign depends upon your party being the merry dupes of the central quest-giver. In essence, your entire party has got to be really dumb for this story to truly take off.

        Since in my 30+ years as both player and DM- Yes, Ooze (did you pick that name because it so suits your mental facilities?) I do know how to adjust a campaign to fit my needs-and one who has DM’d on the highest levels at conventions as well as winning major awards for both my playing and DM’ing…I no longer play characters THAT stupid, the entire campaign leaves much to be desired. In fact, the entire premise of the series (Don’t let the Abyss have sway in the Underdark) is pretty much a laugh. The Underdark has always been under sway of the Abyss, as well as all the other evil planes, and the notion of demons running all over it is pretty much what the Underdark is about. It’s why most high level adventures in the past have at least had a presence there. One is left wondering if the developers of the campaign expect the characters to turn it into a bouncy joy-joy faerieland. Recovering Menzoberranzan from it’s poor dangerous state of running amok with demons so that it can return to it’s previous state of-oh, that’s right-running amok with demons, just under someone’s else’s request. Great rescue, there.

  5. Oh my god!!!
    Do you Want a Drizzt Bromance so Bad, add him to your DM. Ask your DM to put him on the Campaign even without Wizards approval. I assure you that they won’t come after you with a cease and desist.

  6. Zipothethird says:

    Gotta be honnest, I was disapointed that Drizzt does not appear, while I’ve never really been a huge fan of putting Lore npcs into my games beyond maybe appearing the background goings on I really liked the idea that perhaps Drizzt was in trouble, possibly mad in the Underdark and you’d need to combat him the trailer did seem to point that way.

    That minor point aside I do really enjoy this book I think it’s the best book they’ve released thus far it’s filled with so much setting information and unlike alot of the other campagin books they’ve released prompts me to write mroe adventures based around the Underdark.